BATE Borisov are Belarusian champions for the 11th year running although for one player, the title is just the spur to an improved showing in European football.
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BATE Borisov have won their 11th successive Belarusian Premier League title after a 1-0 victory at lowly Granit Mikashevichi on Friday.
A late goal from substitute Nikolai Signevich secured victory and BATE's 13th national championship with five games to spare. After Mikhail Gordeichuk had missed a penalty late in the first half, it took an 86th-minute intervention from Belarus forward Signevich – striking after a great ball by Maksim Volodko – to clinch the domestic crown for Aleksandr Yermakovich's team.
"It was a very tough match but the boys showed character and managed to get the points," said coach Yermakovich, whose side are now out of reach of Shakhtyor Soligorsk, 18 points adrift in second.
According to midfielder Volodko, the title is merely the platform for another tilt at European football next season, following the club's double setback this summer when a UEFA Champions League third qualifying round defeat was preceded by elimination at the UEFA Europa League play-off stage.
"This championship isn't consolation for our European fiasco. We aim to win the league every season, but next year in the UEFA competitions we'll do everything to make amends," Volodko said.